Every year, hundreds of thousands of people in the United States are burnt badly enough to require medical treatment. Of all of those people, 75,000 require hospitalization. Every year, over 10,000 people die of burn injuries. As is clear, burn injuries are common. They are also incredibly painful and often lead to permanent disability. More serious burns often require long term expensive treatments and therapies to restore as much of the victim’s quality of life as possible.
There are many different causes of burn related injuries and deaths, many of them hazards which we might face every day without realizing it. Burn injuries are often caused by accidents both at home or on the job, car accidents, home fires, electrocution, thermal or chemical burn dangers.
Flammable clothing can be an incredibly dangerous, invisible hazard. If clothing is flammable, then the burns can often spread quickly over large portions of the body. Clothing sold in the U.S must comply with the Flammable Fabrics Act because of this.
Thermal or heat burns occur when the body comes into contact with a hot surface – often including hot water, cooking surfaces, irons, or any other substance which reaches a temperature above 115 degrees Fahrenheit. These are the single most common kind of burn, and happen easily in many settings. Considering the number of items which reach these temperatures, this is hardly surprising.
Chemical burns are caused by exposure to strong acids or alkaloids, often where they occur in batteries, plumbing or laboratories. Strong chemicals can dissolve the skin on contact, leading to serious injuries. It is important that if chemicals come into contact with the skin, the whole area is flushed thoroughly with water.
Automobile fires are not uncommon in car accidents, where the presence of gasoline can cause fires or even explosions, sometimes creating shrapnel.
Home fires are possibly what most people think of in the first place when they think of burn injuries, and they are the leading cause of residential fire death. Home fires can be caused by any number of sources; cigarettes are the most common, but electrical and heating sources are also fire dangers when they malfunction. Children playing with lighters or matches cause about 2 percent of fatalities. The strongest dangers involved in fire death are those which impair people’s ability to respond to a fire or make them careless. Intoxication, either through the use of drugs or alcohol, is often a contributing factor to fire deaths.
Electrocution occurs when a person comes into contact with an electrical source. The electrical current flows through the body, leaving severe exit wounds. Doctors can even track the path electricity takes through a burn victim’s body. Electricity can stop the heart if it passes through the chest, making this incredibly dangerous.
If you or someone you love has been wrongfully injured in a fire due to negligence or product malfunction, then contact an experienced Atlanta, Georgia personal injury attorney as soon as possible. You may be entitled to compensation. Call MLN Law at 404-531-9700 to schedule a free consultation.